KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — No. 20/25 Tennessee moved to 6-0 on the season, defeating the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 92-51, on Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols were led by junior forward Rennia Davis, who recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Rae Burrell added a career-high 17 points, while junior Kasiyahna Kushkituah chipped in 15.
The Golden Lions (0-4) were paced by junior Trasity Totten, who finished the night with 19 points and four rebounds. Jayla Atmore and Tyler Pyburn contributed 12 and 11, respectively.
The Lady Vols had their best performance in a first quarter so far this season, jumping out to a 26-7 lead after the opening 10 minutes. The 26 points marked the most scored by UT in a single quarter so far this season.
Senior Lou Brown opened up a 15-1 scoring run, tallying a lay-up two minutes into the first period. A total of seven different players got on the scoreboard during the opening stanza, led by Kushkituah totaling seven. Senior Kamera Harris was right behind Kushkituah, tying her career high with six points in the quarter.
The Big Orange didn’t allow a two-point bucket until seven minutes into the first period, holding the Golden Lions to a 13.3 shooting percentage and forcing five turnovers. UT also out-rebounded Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 17-4, and recorded a 60-percent shooting percentage.
Tennessee continued its dominant performance in the second quarter, hitting a season-high 48 points in the half and only allowing the Golden Lions 11 points. The Lady Vols went on a 20-0 run during the stanza, with Burrell leading the scoring charge with six points and two steals to boot.
Defensively, the Big Orange held UAPB without a bucket until 1:07 remaining in the half and only allowed four points in the quarter, marking a new program record for fewest points scored by an opponent in a second period.
Davis nearly reached her double-double in the opening half, scoring nine points and collecting a team high of eight rebounds. Tennessee out-worked Arkansas-Pine Bluff on the glass, 31-16, and scored 27 points off the bench along with 36 in the paint.
Freshman Tamari Key had a team-best two blocks, and Burrell led the team with a career high of four steals in the first half.
In the third quarter, Davis and Kushkituah both carded six points and three rebounds. Key had the first three points for the Lady Vols in the second half, scoring off a free throw and a lay-in. Davis went on to score the next four points, giving UT a 55-20 lead. Kushkituah closed out the third stanza by making a lay-in, extending the lead to 67-35 at the end of 30 minutes.
Freshman Emily Saunders brought her point total to eight in the fourth quarter, marking a new career high during her eight minutes on the court. Freshman Jordan Horston followed that bucket with another lay-in, giving the Lady Vols a 75-42 advantage with 6:28 left in the game.
In her first game back since Nov. 11 at Notre Dame, junior Jaiden McCoy scored a career high of eight points with back-to-back buckets in the last four minutes of the game, contributing to UT’s 83-44 lead.
Harris closed out scoring for UT, hitting a jumper with 28 seconds left. The bucket marked eight points for the senior, a career best for the Lady Vol.
Tennessee finished the game with 54 points off the bench and 62 in the paint, both season bests. The Lady Vols also out-rebounded the Lady Lions 53-32, continuing their streak of out-performing their opponents on the boards for the sixth-straight game.
Next Up: The Lady Vols continue their six-game home stand, hosting Air Force at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The contest is one of UT’s Salute to Service games, and current military members and veterans will receive free admission when presenting their military ID. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and broadcast on Lady Vol Network radio stations. Fans can buy tickets at AllVols.com.
Big First Quarter: The Lady Vols poured in 26 points during the first quarter against UAPB, their highest point total in any quarter this season. Meanwhile, they held the Golden Lions to just seven points, the fewest scored by any UT opponent in a first quarter this season.
Balanced Attack: Tennessee’s first four baskets came from four different players, and by halftime, 10 of the 11 active players on UT’s roster had scored at least two points. By the end of the game, Tennessee had seven players with five or more points and three in double figures.
Lockdown Defense: The Lady Vols held Arkansas-Pine Bluff scoreless for nearly nine minutes in the second quarter, allowing just four points to tie for the third-fewest points allowed in a quarter all-time. The 11 points allowed in the first half tied for the fifth-fewest points scored by a UT opponent in any game.
Hot Hands: The 92 points against the Golden Lions was the highest point total managed by a Lady Vol team since they scored 98 against Murray State on Dec. 28, 2018. With a field goal percentage of 54.5 percent against UAPB, the Lady Vols posted their highest shooting percentage of the season.
Bench Points: Tennessee’s bench produced a season-high 54 points, outscoring the Golden Lions’ bench by 28 points.
Double-Double Davis: Junior Rennia Davis logged her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The effort moved her career total to 22, tying her with Shekinna Stricklen, Karla Horton and Shyra Ely for the 11th-most career double-doubles by a Lady Vol.